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Bastille Day 2014 in Chicago
As last year, and as announced here earlier on, here is a special post on the way we celebrated le 14 juillet in Chicago, or Bastille Day as American people prefer to say!
I believe this was the 3rd time it was organized on Daley Plaza, and the best so far! I could really feel the ambiance of le 14 juillet in my little village. What made the big difference is that, apart from music and food, I’ll get back to that, there were games for the first time!
Yes, there is indeed a Pétanque Club in Chicago and the suburbs! So they had set up 2 pétanque courts (on fake grass, sorry for the purist, as we usually play this “national French sport” on sand). Everyone was allowed to try and get a free lesson. It was really neat to see young and older people, from all parts of the world and all walks of life, discover the game or renew with an old tradition. I had a few great shots myself.
And the other really funny event was la course des garçons de café [the bartenders race]: the idea is to run with a tray carrying glasses full of water. The winner is the one who arrives first and without spilling!
And of course there were great crêpes, sweet and savory (with ratatouille!), croissants, baguettes, wine and Champagne.
When you had enough of these delicious things, you could go for a very French picture. I have to say it looked really bizarre for me that one would want to have that type of picture taken, but seeing the success of that booth I can definitely say that the American passion for everything French is quite alive!
As usual, there was a short discours by the French consul in Chicago, in both languages, and both national anthems were sang, so beautifully actually by a young soprano.
Neat reflections on the Chicago buildings
And then it was the turn for music and dance. There was quite a wild ambiance, thanks mostly to the French group HK et les saltimbanks – HK is Kaddour Hadadi, a French rapper. He was born in France, his Dad is from Algeria, so his idea was to combine both cultures. He revisits old French songs and gives them a popular Algerian flavor. It really works, and the audience loved it!
As you can see on the bottom right corner of this video, it’s never too early to start dancing on French music!! Here the Salimbanks are revisiting a very famous song by Jacques Brel, starting with the original melody:
If you want to listen more of this great group, you can try this link, with a 45 mn concert. Enjoy!
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I’d love to see that. It must have been fun.
How do you play pétanque on grass? Does the ball roll enough?
The beret and baguette cliché is still alive, I see.
See Chicago (and you) soon!
Actually, I find it easier to play on sand. The ball rolls faster on that fake grass, and also there are some little unexpected bumps here and there, so sometimes it felt more like playing miniature golf!! but it was really fun. Those clichés, unbelievable!!
I have been reading some of your posts. Great Blog!
My wife’s mother and much of her family are from France and needless to say we are very into French culture. It looks like you had a great time in Chicago. I am sad to say that I never played pétanque. It kind of looks like bocce which I have played.
Thanks Brian for stopping by, I’m following your blog. Yes la pétanque is a bit like bocce, but much more obsession and seriousness, lol! I live in Chicagoland, so its fun to suddenly discover a pétanque club here. I hope you can give it a try next time you go to France
Great photos! It sounds like such a fun day over there… It’s wonderful that the French expat community gets together to celebrate.
yes, the expat community here is quite active actually
This sounds like such a fun event! Especially the crepes 🙂
they were not bad indeed
Chicago’s Bastille Day looks great! I also wrote about our celebration in Milwaukee: http://www.melindalarson.com/2014/07/french-friday-le-14-juillet.html#.U80C1IBdWYk
thanks so much Melinda, just left a comment there. I love your beautiful blog. and as we are neighbors, maybe we could meet one day, at some French restaurant in Milwaukee! Just added you to follow you through bloglovin
What fun! I used to work in the loop near Daley Plaza but they started this after the company I worked for closed, so I never got to see it.
never too late, just about 15 mn on foot from Ogilvie station. I actually discovered that there’s a 3 day Bastille Day celebration in Milwaukee, so I may try it next year!
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